Who wants to be injured? Imagine a person living in fear of going outside and getting a sun burn or being struck by lightning. This person might think staying inside, wrapped in bubble wrap, on the couch or bed is the safest thing for them. Is it really? What is that person's quality of life? Sure, they are at low risk of being bitten by a shark... would this person be as afraid of a medical diagnosis about their health being in decline? Although the person indoors is relatively safer from physical injury, this does not mean their health and overall wellness is safe.
A valid fear preventing people from getting off the couch is that an injury can occur during a workout or physical activity. There are two scenarios where this is most likely to be true. One scenario is for people who have not been in a gym or have an athletic background. These individuals might need more guidance and structure to be safe in the gym. A good CrossFit affiliate always has a trainer, and there is a structure to the coach-led session. The other group that might fall into the risk of injury category comes up when de-conditioned athletes who "still have it" become the weekend warrior. These athletes, who had structure but haven't moved their body in an intense way in years will greatly benefit from having a CrossFit trainer teach, correct, and scale workouts for them to safely achieve their performance goals. Working out out at a gym under supervision and with a structured plan for the day, limits the risk of injury and prepares people to handle any physical task that might arise in their everyday life.
There is risk to exercise and physical activity, but the benefits greatly outweigh them; even in some extreme situations like cancer patients, pregnancy, and spinal injuries. Check out this source for a thorough review on the safety and efficacy of high intensity training for many special populations. The video on this post also takes an even closer and more recent look into all of these topics.
What might not be as noticeable as physical injury is the risk to staying sedentary, and that risk can even be amplified in a negative way by poor nutrition. CrossFit is eating well and moving well, and that's what is meant by the phrase "Off the couch, off the carbs". The risk to health can start mildly, like a slightly higher resting heart rate or an achy knee or back. But these small signs and symptoms pile onto each other over time. Eventually a hand-full or more of chronic diseases will be in control of a persons life. The best way to keep chronic disease from evolving into a life of treatment and management is to stay as healthy and fit as possible. CrossFit's general physical preparedness style of training does just that. Do to the constantly varied functional movement at high intensity that CrossFit prescribes, the exercise starts to build what is called a hedge against chronic disease.
Moving better means feeling better and CrossFit is the place to learn, practice, and train essential movements. Quality of life is how well you are able to do the things you enjoy. Fitness is work capacity, or the ability to do the things you enjoy. What you do and how much you do matters. Exercise will allow you to do more of what you enjoy for longer both per session, and over your lifetime. CrossFit, as a fitness program, increases longevity of feeling better and increases one's opportunity to live life to the fullest. Yeah, there are jokes about Pukie the clown and Uncle Rhabdo. Those cases are few and far between. CrossFit, or even general physical activity is not dangerous. Chronic disease is dangerous.
When one exerts themselves beyond their capacity, or maybe just ate the wrong thing before a workout, they might meet "Pukie". Read this article to learn more about how to keep this guy away.
Like the clown mascot, Pukie, and the phrase "Aunt Flow", Rhabdo is short for Rhabdomyolysis, which is when damage is done to the muscle that becomes poisonous to your body. Exercise induced Rhabdo is real, but not common. Athletes who fall into this trap are often performing workouts alone without supervision or have got bitten by the volume bug. Read this article to learn a little more about the risk of Rhabdo.
Is CrossFit Dangerous?
"Poorly interpreted — and in some cases, outright fraudulent — data has fostered the widespread misconception that the rate of injury among CrossFit practitioners is higher than more conventional workout programs. Dr. Amy West will review the data assessing injury rates among CrossFit practitioners, both absolutely and relative to other forms of exercise, while also explaining how the belief that CrossFit causes a high rate of injury emerged. By providing a more informed understanding of the risk profile associated with CrossFit, Dr. West will elucidate why, when performed effectively, CrossFit can be used to improve health outcomes and quality of life among athletes." - CrossFit.com